Panegyric Upon The Building Of The Churches, Addressed To Paulinus, Bishop Of
Synopsis: At the Dedication of the Church in Tyre. This oration is inserted by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History
(10:4) The new basilica at Tyre was a splendid building, and Eusebius addresses Paulinus, the bishop, as a
Bezaleel, a Solomon, a Zerubbabel, a new Aaron or Melchizedek. He applies to the occasion the predictions of the
Jewish prophets foretelling the rebuilding of the temple and the restoration of the polity. He gives thanks for the
triumph of Christ, the Word of God, Who has proved mightier than the mightiest of kings. This magnificent temple,
which has arisen from the ruins of its predecessor, is a token of His power. Then follows an elaborate description of
the building, which, continues the orator, is a symbol of the spiritual church of Tyre, of the spiritual church throughout
the world, in its history, its overthrow, its desolation, its re-erection on a more splendid scale, and in the arrangement
of its several parts. But the spiritual church on earth is itself only a faint image of the heavenly Zion, where adoring
hosts unceasingly sing the praises of their King.

     “Friends and priests of God who are clothed in the sacred gown and adorned with the heavenly crown of glory,
the inspired unction and the sacerdotal garment of the Holy Spirit; and thou? oh pride of God’s new holy temple,
endowed by him with the wisdom of age, and yet exhibiting costly works and deeds of youthful and flourishing virtue,
to whom God himself, who embraces the entire world, has granted the distinguished honor of building and renewing
this earthly house to Christ, his only begotten and first-born Word, and to his holy and divine bride; — one might call
thee a new Beseleel, the architect of a divine tabernacle, or Solomon, king of a new and much better Jerusalem, or
also a new Zerubabel, who added a much greater glory than the former to the temple of God; — and you also, oh
nurslings of the sacred flock of Christ, habitation of good words, school of wisdom, and august and pious auditory of
religion: It was long ago permitted us to raise hymns and songs to God, when we learned from hearing the Divine
Scriptures read the marvelous signs of God and the benefits conferred upon men by the Lord’s wondrous deeds,
being taught to say ‘Oh God! we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us the work which thou didst in their
days, in days of old.’ But now as we no longer perceive the lofty arm and the celestial right hand of our all-gracious
God and universal King by hearsay merely or report, but observe so to speak in very deed and with our own eyes
that the declarations recorded long ago are faithful and true, it is permitted us to raise a second hymn of triumph and
to sing with loud voice, and say, ‘As we have heard, so have we seen; in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of
our God.’ And in what city but in this newly built and God-constructed one, which is a ‘church of the living God, a
pillar and foundation of the truth,’ concerning which also another divine oracle thus proclaims, ‘Glorious things have
been spoken of thee, oh city of God.’ Since the all-gracious God has brought us together to it, through the grace of
his Only-Begotten, let every one of those who have been summoned sing with loud voice and say, ‘ I was glad when
they said unto me, we shall go unto the house of the Lord,’ and ‘Lord, I have loved the beauty of thy house and the
place where thy glory dwelleth.’ And let us not only one by one, but all together, with one spirit and one soul, honor
him and cry aloud, saying, ‘Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in his holy mountain.’
For he is truly great, and great is his house, lofty and spacious and ‘comely in beauty above the sons of men.’ ‘Great
is the Lord who alone doeth wonderful things’; ‘great is he who doeth great things and things past finding out,
glorious and marvelous things which cannot be numbered’; is great is he ‘who changeth times and seasons, who
exalteth and debaseth kings, who raiseth up the poor from the earth and lifteth up the needy from the dunghill.’ He
hath put clown princes from their thrones and hath exalted them of low degree from the earth. The hungry he hath
filled with good things and the arms of the proud he hath broken.’ Not only to the faithful, but also to unbelievers, has
he confirmed the record of ancient events; he that worketh miracles, he that doeth great things, the Master of all, the
Creator of the whole world, the omnipotent, the all-merciful, the one and only God. To him let us sing the new song,
supplying in thought, ‘ To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth forever, To him which smote
great kings, and slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth forever’; ‘For the Lord remembered us in our low estate
and delivered us from our adversaries.’ And let us never cease to cry aloud in these words to the Father of the
universe. And let us always honor him with our mouth who is the second cause of our benefits, the instructor in divine
knowledge, the teacher of the true religion, the destroyer of the impious, the slayer of tyrants, the reformer of life,
Jesus, the Savior of us who were in despair. For he alone, as the only all- gracious Son of an all-gracious Father, in
accordance with the purpose of his Father’s benevolence, has willingly put on the nature of us who lay prostrate in
corruption, and like some excellent physician, who for the sake of saving them that are ill, examines their sufferings,
handles their foul sores, and reaps pain for himself from the miseries of another, so us who were not only diseased
and afflicted with terrible ulcers and wounds already mortified, but were even lying among the dead, he hath saved
for himself from the very jaws of death. For none other of those in heaven had such power as without harm to
minister to the salvation of so many. But he alone having reached our deep corruption, he alone having taken upon
himself our labors, he alone having suffered the punishments due for our impieties, having recovered us who were
not half dead merely, but were already in tombs and sepulchers, and altogether foul and offensive, saves us, both
anciently and now, by his beneficent zeal, beyond the expectation of any one, even of ourselves, and imparts
liberally of the Father’s benefits,- he who is the giver of life and light, our great Physician and King and Lord, the
Christ of God. For then when the whole human race lay buried in gloomy night and in depths of darkness through
the deceitful arts of guilty demons and the power of God-hating spirits, by his simple appearing he loosed once for all
the fast-bound cords of our impieties by the rays of his light, even as wax is melted. But when malignant envy and the
evil- loving demon well-nigh burst with anger at such grace and kindness, and turned against us all his death-dealing
forces, and when, at first, like a dog gone mad which gnashes his teeth at the stones thrown at him, and pours out
his rage against his assailants upon the inanimate missiles, he leveled his ferocious madness at the stones of the
sanctuaries and at the lifeless material of the houses, and desolated the churches, — at least as he supposed, —
and then emitted terrible hissings and snake-like sounds, now by the threats of impious tyrants, and again by the
blasphemous edicts of profane rulers, vomiting forth death, moreover, and infecting with his deleterious and soul-
destroying poisons the souls captured by him, and almost slaying them by his death-fraught sacrifices of dead idols,
and causing every beast in the form of man and every kind of savage to assault us — then, indeed, the ‘Angel of the
great Council,’ the great Captain of God after the mightiest soldiers of his kingdom had displayed sufficient exercise
through patience and endurance in everything, suddenly appeared anew, and blotted out and annihilated his
enemies and foes, so that they seemed never to have had even a name. But his friends and relatives he raised to
the highest glory, in the presence not only of all men, but also of celestial powers, of sun and moon and stars, and of
the whole heaven and earth, so that now, as has never happened before, the supreme rulers, conscious of the
honor which they have received from him, spit upon the faces of dead idols, trample upon the unhallowed rites of
demons, make sport of the ancient delusion handed down from their fathers, and acknowledge only one God, the
common benefactor of all, themselves included. And they confess Christ, the Son of God, universal King of all, and
proclaim him Savior on monuments, imperishably recording in imperial letters, in the midst of the city which rules over
the earth, his righteous deeds and his victories over the impious. Thus Jesus Christ our Savior is the only one from
all eternity who has been acknowledged, even by those highest in the earth, not as a common king among men, but
as a trite son of the universal God, and who has been worshipped as very God, and that rightly. For what king that
ever lived attained such virtue as to fill the ears and tongues of all men upon earth with his own name? What king,
after ordaining such pious and wise laws, has extended them from one end of the earth to the other, so that they are
perpetually read in the hearing of all men? Who has abrogated barbarous and savage customs of uncivilized nations
by his gentle and most philanthropic laws? Who, being attacked for entire ages by all, has shown such superhuman
virtue as to flourish daily, and remain young throughout his life? Who has founded a nation which of old was not
even heard of, but which now is not concealed in some comer of the earth, but is spread abroad everywhere under
the sun? Who has so fortified his soldiers with the arms of piety that their souls, being firmer than adamant, shine
brilliantly in the contests with their opponents? What king prevails to such an extent, and even after death leads on
his soldiers, and sets up trophies over his enemies, and fills every place, country and city, Greek and barbarian, with
his royal dwellings, even divine temples with their consecrated oblations, like this very temple with its superb
adornments and votive offerings, which are themselves so truly great and majestic, worthy of wonder and admiration,
and clear signs of the sovereignty of our Savior? For now, too, ‘he spake, and they were made; he commanded, and
they were created.’ For what was there to resist the nod of the universal King and Governor and Word of God
     “A special discourse would be needed accurately to survey and explain all this; and also to describe how great
the zeal of the laborers is regarded by him who is celebrated as divine, who looks upon the living temple which we all
constitute, and surveys the house, composed of living and moving stones, which is well and surely built upon the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, the chief cornerstone being Jesus Christ himself, who has been rejected
not only by the builders of that ancient building which no longer stands, but also by the builders — evil architects of
evil works — of the structure, which is composed of the mass of men and still endures But the Father has approved
him both then and now, and has made him the head of the corner of this our common church. Who that beholds this
living temple of the living God formed of ourselves — this greatest and truly divine sanctuary, I say, whose inmost
shrines are invisible to the multitude and are truly holy and a holy of holies — would venture to declare it? Who is
able even to look within the sacred enclosure, except the great High Priest of all, to whom alone it is permitted to
fathom the mysteries of every rational soul? But perhaps it is granted to another, to one only, to be second after him
in the same work, namely, to the commander of this army whom the first and great High Priest himself has honored
with the second place in this sanctuary, the shepherd of your divine flock who has obtained your people by the
allotment and the judgment of the Father, as if he had appointed him his own servant and interpreter, a new Aaron
or Melchizedec, made like the Son of God, remaining and continually preserved by him in accordance with the united
prayers of all of you. To him therefore alone let it be granted, if not in the first place, at least in the second after the
first and greatest High Priest, to observe and supervise the inmost state of your souls, — to him who by experience
and length of time has accurately proved each one, and who by his zeal and care has disposed you all in pious
conduct and doctrine, and is better able than any one else to give an account, adequate to the facts, of those things
which he himself has accomplished with the Divine assistance. As to our first and great High Priest, it is said,
‘Whatsoever he seeth the Father doing those things likewise the Son also doeth.’ So also this one, looking up to him
as to the first teacher, with pure eyes of the mind, using as archetypes whatsoever things he seeth him doing,
produceth images of them, making them so far as is possible in the same likeness, in nothing inferior to that
Beseleel, whom God himself ‘filled with the spirit of wisdom and understanding’ and with other technical and scientific
knowledge, and called to be the maker of the temple constructed after heavenly types given in symbols.
Thus this one also bearing in his own soul the image of the whole Christ, the Word, the Wisdom, the Light, has
formed this magnificent temple of the highest God, corresponding to the pattern of the greater as a visible to an
invisible, it is impossible to say with what greatness of soul, with what wealth and liberality of mind, and with what
emulation on the part of all of you, shown in the magnanimity of the contributors who have ambitiously striven in no
way to be left behind by him in the execution of the same purpose. And this place, — for this deserves to be
mentioned first of all, — which had been covered with all sorts of rubbish by the artifices of our enemies he did not
overlook, nor did he yield to the wickedness of those who had brought about that condition of things, although he
might have chosen some other place, for many other sites were available in the city, where he would have had less
labor, and been free from trouble. But having first aroused himself to the work, and then strengthened the whole
people with zeal, and formed them all into one great body, he fought the first contest. For he thought that this
church, which had been especially besieged by the enemy, which had first suffered and endured the same
persecutions with us and for us, like a mother bereft of her children, should rejoice with us in the signal favor of the
all-merciful God. For when the Great Shepherd had driven away the wild animals and wolves and every cruel and
savage beast, and, as the divine oracles say, ‘had broken the jaws of the lions,’, he thought good to collect again her
children in the same place, and in the most righteous manner he set up the fold of her flock, ‘to put to shame the
enemy and avenger,’ and to refute the impious daring of the enemies of God. And now they are not, — the haters of
God, — for they never were. After they had troubled and been troubled for a little time, they suffered the fitting
punishment, and brought themselves and their friends and their relatives to total destruction, so that the declarations
inscribed of old in sacred records have been proved true by facts. In these declarations the divine word truly says
among other things the following concerning them: ‘The wicked have drawn out the sword, they have bent their bow,
to slay the righteous in heart; let their sword enter into their own heart and their bows be broken.’ And again: ‘Their
memorial is perished with a sound’ and ‘their name hast thou blotted out forever and ever’; for when they also were
in trouble they ‘cried out and there was none to save: unto the Lord, and he heard them not. But ‘their feet were
bound together, and they fell, but we have arisen and stand upright.’ And that which was announced beforehand in
these words, - ‘O Lord, in thy city thou shalt set at naught their image,’ — has been shown to be true to the eyes of
all. But having waged war like the giants against God, they died in this way. But she that was desolate and rejected
by men received the consummation which we behold in consequence of her patience toward God, so that the
prophecy of Isaiah was spoken of her: ‘Rejoice, thirsty desert, let the desert rejoice and blossom as the lily, and the
desert places shall blossom and be glad.’ ‘Be strengthened, ye weak hands and feeble knees. Be of good courage,
ye feeble-hearted, in your minds; be strong, fear not. Behold our God recompenseth judgment and will recompense,
he will come and save us.’ ‘For,’ he says, ‘in the wilderness water has broken out, and a pool in thirsty ground, and
the dry land shall be watered meadows, and in the thirsty ground there shall be springs of water.’ These things which
were prophesied long ago have been recorded in sacred books; but no longer are they transmitted to us by hearsay
merely, but in facts. This desert, this dry land, this widowed and deserted one, ‘whose gates they cut down with axes
like wood in a forest, whom they broke down with hatchet and hammer,’ whose books also they destroyed, ‘burning
with fire the sanctuary of God, and profaning unto the ground the habitation of his name,’ ‘whom all that passed by
upon the way plucked, and whose fences they broke down, whom the boar out of the wood ravaged, and on which
the savage wild beast fed,’ now by the wonderful power of Christ, when he wills it, has become like a lily. For at that
time also she was chastened at his nod as by a careful father; ‘for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and
scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.’ Then after being chastened in a measure, according to the necessities of
the case, she is commanded to rejoice anew; and she blossoms as a lily and exhales her divine odor among all men.
‘For,’ it is said, ‘water hath broken out in the wilderness,’ the fountain of the saving bath of divine regeneration. And
now she, who a little before was a desert, ‘has become watered meadows. and springs of water have gushed forth in
a thirsty land.’ The hands which before were ‘weak’ have become ‘truly strong’; and these works are great and
convincing proofs of strong hands. The knees, also, which before were ‘feeble and infirm,’ recovering their wonted
strength, are moving straight forward in the path of divine knowledge, and hastening to the kindred flock of the all-
gracious Shepherd. And if there are any whose souls have been stupefied by the threats of the tyrants, not even
they are passed by as incurable by the saving Word; but he heals them also and urges them on to receive divine
comfort, saying, ‘Be ye comforted, ye who are faint-hearted; be ye strengthened, fear not.’ This our new and
excellent Zerubabel, having heard the word which announced beforehand, that she who had been made a desert on
account of God should enjoy these things, after the bitter captivity and the abomination of desolation, did not
overlook the dead body; but first of all with prayers and supplications propitiated the Father with the common
consent of all of you, and invoking the only one that giveth life to the dead as his ally and fellow-worker, raised her
that was fallen, after purifying and freeing her from her ills. And he clothed her not with the ancient garment, but with
such an one as he had again learned from the sacred oracles, which say clearly, ‘And the latter glory of this house
shall be greater than the former.’ Thus, enclosing a much larger space, he fortified the outer court with a wall
surrounding the whole, which should serve as a most secure bulwark for the entire edifice. And he raised and spread
out a great and lofty vestibule toward the rays of the rising sun, and furnished those standing far without the sacred
enclosure a full view of those within, almost turning the eyes of those who were strangers to the faith, to the
entrances, so that no one could pass by without being impressed by the memory of the former desolation and of the
present incredible transformation. His hope was that such an one being impressed by this might be attracted and be
induced to enter by the very sight. But when one comes within the gates he does not permit him to enter the
sanctuary immediately, with impure and unwashed feet; but leaving as large a space as possible between the temple
and the outer entrance, he has surrounded and adorned it with four transverse cloisters, making a quadrangular
space with pillars rising on every side, which he has joined with lattice-work screens of wood, rising to a suitable
height; and he has left an open space in the middle, so that the sky can be seen, and the free air bright in the rays
of the sun. Here he has placed symbols of sacred purifications, setting up fountains opposite the temple which
furnish an abundance of water wherewith those who come within the sanctuary may purify themselves. This is the
first halting-place of those who enter; and it furnishes at the same time a beautiful and splendid scene to every one,
and to those who still need elementary instruction a fitting station. But passing by this spectacle, he has made open
entrances to the temple with many other vestibules within, placing three doors on one side, likewise facing the rays of
the sun. The one in the middle, adorned with plates of bronze, iron bound, and beautifully embossed, he has made
much higher and broader than the others, as if he were making them guards for it as for a queen. In the same way,
arranging the number of vestibules for the corridors on each side of the whole temple, he has made above them
various openings into the building, for the purpose of admitting more light, adorning them with very fine wood-
carving. But the royal house he has furnished with more beautiful and splendid materials, using unstinted liberality in
his disbursements. It seems to me superfluous to describe here in detail the length and breadth of the building, its
splendor and its majesty surpassing description, and the brilliant appearance of the work, its lofty pinnacles reaching
to the heavens, and the costly cedars of Lebanon above them, which the divine oracle has not omitted to mention,
saying, ‘The trees of the Lord shall rejoice and the cedars of Lebanon which he hath planted.’ Why need I now
describe the skillful architectural arrangement and the surpassing beauty of each part, when the testimony of the eye
renders instruction through the ear superfluous? For when he had thus completed the temple, he provided it with
lofty thrones in honor of those who preside, and in addition with seats arranged in proper order throughout the whole
building, and finally placed in the middle the holy of holies, the altar, and, that it might be inaccessible to the
multitude, enclosed it with wooden lattice-work, accurately wrought with artistic carving, presenting a wonderful sight
to the beholders. And not even the pavement was neglected by him; for this too he adorned with beautiful marble of
every variety. Then finally he passed on to the parts without the temple, providing spacious exedrae and buildings on
each side, which were joined to the basilica, and communicated with the entrances to the interior of the structure.
These were erected by our most peaceful Solomon, the maker of the temple of God, for those who still needed
purification and sprinkling by water and the Holy Spirit, so that the prophecy quoted above is no longer a word
merely, but a fact; for now it has also come to pass that in truth ‘the biter glory of this house is greater than the
former.’ For it was necessary and fitting that as her shepherd and Lord had once tasted death for her, and after his
suffering had changed that vile body which he assumed in her behalf into a splendid and glorious body, leading the
very flesh which had been delivered from corruption to incorruption, she too should enjoy the dispensations of the
Savior. For having received from him the promise of much greater things than these, she desires to share
uninterruptedly throughout eternity with the choir of the angels of light, in the far greater glory of regeneration, in the
resurrection of an incorruptible body, in the palace of God beyond the heavens, with Christ Jesus himself, the
universal Benefactor and Savior. But for the present, she that was formerly widowed and desolate is clothed by the
grace of God with these flowers, and is become truly like a lily, as the prophecy says, and having received the bridal
garment and the crown of beauty, she is taught by Isaiah to dance, and to present her thank-offerings unto God the
King in reverent words. Let us hear her saying, ‘My soul shall rejoice in the Lord; for he hath clothed me with a
garment of salvation and with a robe of gladness; he hath bedecked me like a bridegroom with a garland, and he
hath adorned me like a bride with jewels; and like the earth which bringeth forth her bud, and like a garden which
causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, thus the Lord God hath caused righteousness and praise to
spring forth before all the nations.’ In these words she exults. And in similar words the heavenly bridegroom, the
Word Jesus Christ himself, answers her. Hear the Lord saying, ‘Fear not because thou hast been put to shame,
neither be thou confounded because thou hast been rebuked; for thou shalt forget the former shame, and the
reproach of thy widowhood shalt thou remember no more.’ ‘Not as a woman deserted and faint-hearted .I hath the
Lord called thee, nor as a woman hated from her youth, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but
with great mercy will I have mercy upon thee; in a little wrath I hid my face from thee, but with everlasting mercy will I
have mercy upon thee, saith the Lord that hath redeemed thee.’ ‘Awake, awake, thou who hast drunk at the hand of
the Lord the cup of his fury; for thou hast drunk the cup of ruin, the vessel of my wrath, and hast drained it. And
there was none to console thee of all thy sons whom thou didst bring forth, and there was none to take thee by the
hand.’ ‘Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of ruin, the vessel of my fury, and thou shalt no longer drink it.
And I will put it into the hands of them that have treated thee unjustly and have humbled thee.’ ‘Awake, awake, put on
thy strength, put on thy glory.  Shake off the dust and arise. Sit thee down, loose the bands of thy neck.’ ‘Lift up thine
eyes round about and behold thy children gathered together; behold they are gathered together and are come to
thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt clothe thee with them all as with an ornament, and gird thyself with them as
with the ornaments of a bride. For thy waste and corrupted and ruined places shall now be too narrow by reason of
those that inhabit thee, and they that swallow thee up shall be far from thee. For thy sons whom thou hast lost shall
say in thine ears, The place is too narrow for me, give place to me that I may dwell. Then shalt thou say in thine
heart, Who hath begotten me these? I am childless and a widow, and who hath brought up these for me? I was left
alone, and these, where were they for me?’.
     “These are the things which Isaiah foretold; and which were anciently recorded concerning us in sacred
booksand it was necessary that we should sometime learn their truthfulness by their fulfillment. For when the
bridegroom, the Word, addressed such language to his own bride, the sacred and holy Church, this bridesman, —
when she was desolate and lying like a corpse, bereft of hope in the eyes of men, — in accordance with the united
prayers of all of you, as was proper, stretched out your hands and aroused and raised her up at the command of
God, the universal King, and at the manifestation of the power of Jesus Christ; and having raised her he established
her as he had learned from the description given in the sacred oracles. This is indeed a very great wonder, passing
all admiration, especially to those who attend only to the outward appearance; but more wonderful than wonders are
the archetypes and their mental prototypes and divine models; I mean the reproductions of the inspired and rational
building in our souls. This the Divine Son himself created after his own image, imparting to it everywhere and in all
respects the likeness of God, an incorruptible nature, incorporeal, rational, free from all earthly matter, a being
endowed with its own intelligence; and when he had once called her forth from non-existence into existence, he made
her a holy spouse, an all-sacred temple for himself and for the Father. This also he clearly declares and confesses
in the following words: ‘I will dwell in them and will walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’
Such is the perfect and purified soul, so made from the beginning as to bear the image of the celestial Word. But
when by the envy and zeal of the malignant demon she became, of her own voluntary choice, sensual and a lover of
evil, the Deity left her; and as if bereft of a protector, she became an easy prey and readily accessible to those who
had long envied her; and being assailed by the batteries and machines of her invisible enemies and spiritual foes,
she suffered a terrible fall, so that not one stone of virtue remained upon another in her, but she lay completely dead
upon the ground, entirely divested of her natural ideas of God.
     “But as she, who had been made in the image of God, thus lay prostrate, it was not that wild boar from the forest
which we see that despoiled her, but a certain destroying demon and spiritual wild beasts who deceived her with their
passions as with the fiery darts of  their own wickedness, and burned the truly divine sanctuary of God with fire, and
profaned to the ground the tabernacle of his name. Then burying the miserable one with heaps of earth, they
destroyed every hope of deliverance. But that divinely bright and saving Word, her protector, after she had suffered
the merited punishment for her sins, again restored her, securing the favor of the all-merciful Father. Having won
over first the souls of the highest rulers, he purified, through the agency of those most divinely favored princes, the
whole earth from all the impious destroyers, and from the terrible and God-hating tyrants themselves. Then bringing
out into the light those who were his friends, who had long before been consecrated to him for life, but in the midst,
as it were, of a storm of evils, had been concealed under his shelter, he honored them worthily with the great gifts of
the Spirit. And again, by means of them, he cleared out and cleaned with spades and mattocks — the admonitory
words of doctrine — the souls which a little while before had been covered with filth and burdened with every kind of
matter and rubbish of impious ordinances. And when he had made the ground of all your minds clean and clear, he
finally committed it to this all- wise and God-beloved Ruler, who, being endowed with judgment and prudence, as well
as with other gifts, and being able to examine and discriminate accurately the minds of those committed to his
charge, from the first day, so to speak, down to the present, has not ceased to build. Now he has supplied the
brilliant gold, again the refined and unalloyed silver, and the precious and costly stones in all of you, so that again is
fulfilled for you in facts a sacred and mystic prophecy, which says, ‘Behold I make thy stone a carbuncle, and thy
foundations of sapphire, and thy battlements of jasper, and thy gates of crystals, and thy wall of chosen stones; and
all thy sons shall be taught of God, and thy children shall enjoy complete peace; and in righteousness shall thou be
built.’ Building therefore in righteousness, he divided the whole people according to their strength. With some he
fortified only the outer enclosure, walling it up with unfeigned faith; such were the great mass of the people who were
incapable of bearing a greater structure. Others he permitted to enter the building, commanding them to stand at the
door and act as guides for those who should come in; these may be not unfitly compared to the vestibules of the
temple. Others he supported by the first pillars which are placed without about the quadrangular hall, initiating them
into the first elements of the letter of the four Gospels. Still others he joined together about the basilica on both
sides; these are the catechumens who are still advancing and progressing, and are not far separated from the
inmost view of divine things granted to the faithful. Taking from among these the pure souls that have been cleansed
like gold by divine washing, he then supports them by pillars, much better than those without, made from the inner
and mystic teachings of the Scripture, and illumines them by windows. Adorning the whole temple with a great
vestibule of the glory of the one universal King and only God, and placing on either side of the authority of the
Father Christ, and the Holy Spirit as second lights, he exhibits abundantly and gloriously throughout the entire
building the clearness and splendor of the truth of the rest in all its details. And having selected from every quarter
the living and moving and well-prepared stones of the souls, he constructs out of them all the great and royal house,
splendid and full of light both within and without; for not only soul and understanding, but their body also is made
glorious by the blooming ornament of purity and modesty. And in this temple there are also thrones, and a great
number of seats and benches, in all those souls in which sit the Holy Spirit’s gifts, such as were anciently seen by the
sacred apostles, and those who were with them, when there ‘appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of
fire, and sat upon each one of them.’ But in the leader of all it is reasonable to suppose that Christ himself dwells in
his fullness, and in those that occupy the second rank after him, in proportion as each is able to contain the power of
Christ and of the Holy Spirit. And the souls of some in of those, namely, who are committed to each of them for
instruction and care — may be seats for angels. But the great and august and unique altar, what else could this be
than the pure holy of holies of the soul of the common priest of all? Standing at the right of it, Jesus himself, the
great High Priest of the universe, the Only Begotten of God, receives with bright eye and extended hand the sweet
incense from all, and the bloodless and immaterial sacrifices offered in their prayers, and bears them to the heavenly
Father and God of the universe. And he himself first worships him, and alone gives to the Father the reverence
which is his due, beseeching him also to continue always kind and propitious to us all.
     “Such is the great temple which the great Creator of the universe, the Word, has built throughout the entire
world, making it an intellectual image upon earth of those things which lie above the vault of heaven, so that
throughout the whole creation, including rational beings on earth, his Father might be honored and adored. But the
region above the heavens, with the models of earthly things which are there, and the so-called Jerusalem above,
and the heavenly Mount of Zion, and the supramundane city of the living God, in which innumerable choirs of angels
and the Church of the first born, whose names are written in heaven, praise their Maker and the Supreme Ruler of
the universe with hymns of praise unutterable and incomprehensible to us, — who that is mortal is able worthily to
celebrate this? ‘For eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of men those things which
God hath prepared for them that love him.’ Since we, men, children, and women, small and great, are already in part
partakers of these things, let us not cease all together, with one spirit and one soul, to confess and praise the author
of such great benefits to us, ‘Who for-giveth all our iniquities, who healeth all our diseases, who redeemeth our life
from destruction, who crowneth us with mercy and compassion, who satisfieth our desires with good things.’ ‘For he
hath not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities;’ ‘for as far as the east is
from the west, so far hath he removed our iniquities from us. Like as a father pitieth his own children, so the Lord
pitieth them that fear him.’ Rekindling these thoughts in our memories, both now and during all time to come, and
contemplating in our mind night and day, in every hour and with every breath, so to speak, the Author and Ruler of
the present festival, and of this bright and most splendid day, let us love and adore him with every power of the soul.
And now rising, let us beseech him with loud voice to shelter and preserve us to the end in his fold, granting his
unbroken and unshaken peace forever, in Christ Jesus our Savior; through whom be the glory unto him forever and
ever. Amen.”